Updated Sep 29, 2022 - World

Finland closing border to Russian tourists starting Friday

Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto

Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto speaks during a press conference on Sept. 29. Photo: Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Finland announced Thursday that at midnight local time its border will be officially closed to Russian tourists wishing to cross into the country, Reuters reported.

Driving the news: Finland, along with several other countries neighboring Russia, announced plans last week to bar entry for Russian tourists amid an influx of Russians attempting to flee conscription.

  • The large flow of Russians into the country could present a danger to Finland's international relations, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said at a press conference Thursday, per Reuters.
  • Those seeking to cross the border for family visits, work or study will still be permitted.

The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement last week of a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 citizens to aid the war effort in Ukraine prompted protests and even attacks on military recruitment offices.

  • Long queues have been reported at many of Russia’s borders, with satellite images showing a line of vehicles to enter Georgia stretching more than 10 miles long.
  • Nearly 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland last weekend, an 80% increase over the week before, Finnish authorities said Monday.
  • The Finnish Border Guard earlier this week even recommended the construction of a physical fence along 10-20% of the country's eastern border due to “recent changes in the security environment,” Politico reported.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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